Student advocates club participation at Mesa

Destin+Garis%2C+current+president+of+the+PTK+club+speaks+about+her+time+at+San+Diego+Mesa+College++Photo+Credit%3A+David+Nguyen.
Destin Garis, current president of the PTK club speaks about her time at San Diego Mesa College  Photo Credit: David Nguyen.

Destin Garis, current president of the PTK club speaks about her time at San Diego Mesa College Photo Credit: David Nguyen.

Destin Garis, current president of the PTK club speaks about her time at San Diego Mesa College Photo Credit: David Nguyen.

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Destin Garis is a San Diego Mesa College student and the president of the Phi Theta Kappa club on campus.

What is your major here at San Diego Mesa College?

“Communications.”

Why did you decide to choose communications?

“I think I naturally started drifting towards that. I started out by taking three semesters of Chinese and political science, and then having a communications class was part of the requirements for one of the majors I was originally thinking I would go for. I was a PTK member before I took communications class, and then I went on to take communications with Professor Huneberg, she’s awesome.”

“I also realized that I kinda wanted to get outta here. Transfer or something. Instead of changing my major a bunch of times I decided I needed to stick with one.”

How has the school helped you reach or get closer to finishing your major?

“First of all I would say that the combined efforts from EOPS counseling with Nelly and being a member of PTK helped me choose my major. That’s the most important is having to choose a major.”

What would be some advice for new students at Mesa who want to do the same thing you are doing?

“I’d say in the beginning it would be beneficial to get involved sooner. And for your first semester just take two classes at a time so you can adjust to the college life and it’s not too stressful. Also take advantage of all the resources. If you are eligible to be a part of EOPS, join it.”

About the Honors Society, what’s it like being president of the Honors Society, what do you guys do?

“People don’t want to do honors, they are scared of doing extra homework or whatever. At least do volunteering. Volunteering also helps with transferring, you know. It’s one of the questions people ask you.”

“I started out as just a member, around Mesa there is also the Honors program and they also do volunteering. Once I found volunteering I was addicted, I put in over 40 hours in a year. And so, just being a member of PTK and then being the PR secretary, so that gave me experience going to ICC meetings, staying in touch with everybody, sending emails, updating the social media networking. Then I moved up to president the semester after that. We stay busy. We do a lot of community service and focus on personal growth.”

What kind of community service have you done?

“Mostly done work with kids, that’s my favorite. For example I heard about the Art Walk, in Little Italy, from an email the art history professor, Denise Rodgers, forwarded to our students, and at the art walk I painted mandalas for two days, seriously two days. At like 6 hours a day, it’s amazing.”

“I’ve done Everyone’s a Reader at Cubberley Elementary, I heard about that through PTK on campus. I went Thursday mornings from about 8 a.m. until about 10 a.m. for two months tutoring first and second graders how to read and write. And then with the Honors Program and with Professor Jeff Berry I heard about the Christmas in Ensenada. That’s where we go to Mexico, making goody bags for kids of variable ages. Everything from toothbrushes to crayons. Then we helped barbecue for kids at the church. Those are just my favorite things. Currently I am working with club Terra Mesa. It’s the environmental club on campus, it just started. And coordinating with them through the PTK service department.”

What schools have you applied to?

“Well at the end of this month I will be going to Boston to visit MIT, a school I have applied to. That will probably be my graduate program. And Boston University, they are offering a scholarship for PTK members, so that’s a really good one. One thing that is cool about PTK is there are schools around the country that offer scholarships for people who have membership. I want to go to the east coast, do something different, I want to get out of San Diego.”

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